TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- October is the official start of flu season, and WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), a leading provider of managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs, is reminding all members to get vaccinated by offering free flu shots at participating locations nationwide.
Fewer than half of Americans get an annual flu immunization, even though flu kills an average of 24,000 people in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Most seasonal flu hits between October and May, with a peak between December and February. The CDC advises everyone over the age of six months to get the flu vaccine by the end of October, but it's never too late to get the vaccine as long as the flu virus is circulating. It takes about two weeks for your body to develop protective antibodies after getting the shot.
"The flu is more than just a stuffy nose or a sore throat. Flu symptoms can last up to two weeks, and for some — especially the elderly, young children or people with chronic diseases — the flu can lead to pneumonia and require hospitalization," said Dr. Steven Goldberg, chief medical officer for WellCare. "Getting a flu shot is your single best defense against getting the flu. We encourage all members to visit their primary care physicians or participating pharmacies to get vaccinated to not only protect themselves, but also their families, friends and co-workers."
WellCare members enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Part B plans are eligible to receive a free flu shot. WellCare members under the following plans are also eligible:
Eligible members can receive a free flu shot at any participating network pharmacy or their provider's office.
For more information, or to find a participating location in your area, visit www.wellcare.com or call 1-866-530-9491 or TTY (All Plans): 1-877-247-6272.
About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. The Company serves approximately 3.8 million members nationwide as of June 30, 2015. For more information about WellCare, please visit the Company's website at www.wellcare.com or view the company's videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.
SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.